When a police officer arrests you for driving under the influence (DUI) allegations, the consequences of a conviction or guilty plea are serious. The penalties possible may include fines, time in jail and a temporary suspension of your license. If you have had previous DUI infractions, the penalties that you face may be more severe.
You don’t have to have a history of drunk driving for a first-time arrest to carry life-altering consequences. There are also certain circumstances that can increase the penalties that you face from DUI charges, regardless of your driving record.
When you drive for a living
If you have a commercial driver’s license (CDL), then you are likely acutely aware of how the traffic rules that apply to the people driving commercial vehicles are much more strict than the rules for those in smaller passenger vehicles.
You are likely aware that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) imposes a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit twice as strict as what Georgia imposes for the average driver. A BAC of 0.04% is sufficient for a DUI charge when someone is in control of a commercial vehicle.
What you may not realize is that if you get arrested for a DUI in your own vehicle when you are not at work, that could also mean that you lose eligibility for commercial driving for at least a year, possibly longer if there was a previous DUI on your record.
When someone gets hurt or dies
Few things aggravate the consequences for impaired driving charges as seriously and as quickly as a negative impact on someone else. When a driver causes injury or death in a collision because of alcohol impairment, they may face more serious charges and more serious penalties as well.
Any DUI charge may justify a robust defense in criminal court, but some charges are more serious than others. When you could face secondary penalties, like the loss of your profession, defending yourself becomes that much more important.
Identifying if your case is a high-risk DUI situation can help you determine the right response to pending criminal charges. Mounting a defense against pending DUI charges can help you avoid incarceration, protect your license and maintain your career.